Fresh from a confidence-boosting win at Plumpton three weeks ago, Timely Gift recorded a third career success from his 12 starts to date when winning at Market Rasen yesterday, though he needed to dig very deep to get the better of the runner-up in the shadows of the post.
He once again travelled nicely through the contest and looked the likelier winner at the last, but the runner-up rallied to regain the lead inside the final furlong and Alan had to be at his strongest to get Timely Gift’s head in front on the line.
I am delighted for his owners, who have had to be very patient (he missed all of 2018 through injury) and have now been rewarded with two wins. Given the narrow margin of victory once again, I would imagine he will only get a 2-3lbs rise from the handicapper, so there is every reason to think he can make a very bold bid for the hat-trick next time. However, we may look to give him a little break first, with a view to returning to the racecourse in the spring.
We have a busy day ahead, with four runners up at Sedgefield, including Alltimegold, who will bid for a fifth win of the season in the opening handicap hurdle. We also have two ‘Bells’ runners at Exeter for owners Steve and Mick – good luck to all concerned!